Featured photo by Jessie Cohen

Video by Dillon Smith

The 2019 Detroit JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest wrapped up on Aug. 8 after a jam-packed five days of sports, arts and community service. Here are some highlights from the games to recap the fun-filled week of competition.

16U Boys Basketball

Detroit-based teams faced off against each other on day one as the Detroit team defeated the team composed of players from Cincinnati, Detroit and San Antonio by nine, winning 52-43 in overtime. The game was a tight one, as the Detroit team had a two-point lead with five seconds left, but a CIN/DET/SA player hit two free throws to force an overtime period.

A Detroit player taking a free throw attempt in the second half of their game against CIN/DET/SA Michael Pearce | Detroit Jewish News

The Detroit team went on to beat the Philadelphia and Boston team in the playoffs, and then won the bronze medal game on the final day of competition, 59-39.

14U Boys Baseball

The 14U baseball team made it to the bronze medal game where they were defeated 14-4 by a team consisting of five different groups known as Team USA. They finished with a 2-2 record and scored six total points.

14U and 16U Golf

Detroit golfer Jack Lewis took home the gold in the 14U competition. Lewis finished with a total 172 score over the two-day competition, winning by 28 strokes over the second place competitor. In the 14U competition, Aaron Comensky earned silver medals. Ethan Chernow of the 16U squad received silver with 81-82 scores, Oliver Brown took scramble silver and Jake Handler received the scramble gold medal and bronze in the 16U second flight. McKenzie Narens took first place in the 16U girls competition and gold medals for the closest to pin and scramble.


The intense competition included individual events including 200-yard breastroke, 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard butterfly and plenty of relays. Sixteen-year-old Jessica Gurvitz of Detroit earned second place in both breaststroke and freestyle.


The Detroit Blue hockey team ended the competition with a final record of 3-1 and scored nine total points. The highlight of the competition was a commanding 4-0 victory over the ALBT/PIT/BOS/FTL/ALB team on day two.

16U Girls Volleyball

There were two Detroit-based teams for volleyball: All Detroit young women and Detroit/Great Britain/Philadelphia. The teams fought hard, with noteworthy games against North Miami Beach/Miami in grey with a close call at 22-25 and win of 25-22. Israel Blue and Israel White faced off in the championship game with Israel White taking home gold.

JCC Maccabi volleyball
The girls huddle up as they prepare for their next match. By Jessie Cohen

16U Boys Soccer

The team nicknamed “Team OC” composed of kids from Detroit/Carolina/Springfield/Philadelphia had a successful first two days, winning three of four games and scoring nine total points. They lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs to Toronto, 4-2.

JCC Maccabi soccer
A Team OC defender runs to the ball to clear it out as the opponent attempts to work his way into the box By Michael Pearce

16u Girls Soccer

The 16u girls team took home the bronze medal in their group. defeating the OC/PPA/NO/ALBT team in the bronze game 3-0, who they beat on day two by a 5-2 score. They also had a 6-1 day one victory over the AUS/BOS/CHI/CIN/DEN team.

14U Boys Basketball

The 14U Detroit White team finished the week with an undefeated 4-0 record, making it all the way to the championship game as the three-seed, where they lost their first game all week to the HUD team, 68-57. They earned the silver medal and were one of the highest scoring teams in the bracket.

In a game against Toronto Blue, #23 stole the ball and took it all the way to the hoop, planted his foot hard in the floor and dropped in an acrobatic spin layup, making for a highlight-worthy score.

JCC Maccabi
A Detroit player attempts a three-pointer from the corner as a Toronto defender leaps to block it By Michael Pearce

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